Love is a Song

” Love is but a song we sing, fears’ the way we die. You can make the mountains ring, or make the angels cry. Though the dove is on the wing, and you may not know why. Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, and try to love one another right now.” ~ Chet Powers

Some songs stand the test of time. “Get Together” is a song where the words and their meaning rings true even today some 50 years later.

You may have noticed that people are fighting everywhere these days. Whether it’s in another country or right here in our own communities. What is everyone fighting for/over? You name it. More land, more money, politics, religion, who did what to whom…the list goes on. What’s sad is that most of us were taught when we were young how to share and behave around others. Seems to me we that we forgot those things when we left the sandbox.

In a perfect world everyone would get along and there’d be no fighting, or we’d agree to disagree. We need spirited debates to make changes but not when it’s sister fighting sister and brother killing brother. If we’re not careful there will be no one and nothing left worth fighting for. When the fighting ends, we regret things we’ve said or done. By the time we decide to do something about it, we are to late. We never see the person or worse – they pass away.

Thought for the day: Don’t let pride get in the way of a simple “I’m sorry”. A friend once told me, “Swallow your pride, it contains no calories.”

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Your Last Day

“Against the grain should be a way of life … Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try, So live like you’ll never live it twice, Don’t take the free ride in your own life” ~ Nickleback

What would you do if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness and you were given a certain amount of time to live? Would you make a bucket list and try to do everything on it? Would you hold up in your home until the day you die? Donate every dime you have?

Or would you…well, I think you know.

I’ve known a few people who have been diagnosed with and died from terminal illness. The first one was my grandfather who had liver cancer. I remember on summer vacation riding my bike 6 miles to his house so I could visit with him. I still, 30 years later, vividly remember the day he past away.

One person I had a bond with but not super close to moped around had metastasized cancer. This person moped around but before passing away, this person had been planning a trip but didn’t make it. A few of us carried out the trip they’d planned and sprinkled some ashes in a couple places there. I still remember the night that person took their life.

During my years in healthcare, I became close with a number of individuals who passed away from terminal illness. For most their terminal illness was old age. I’ll never forget what one patient told me one day, “Live your life now while you can.”

Thought for the day: Live each day to its fullest, laugh your heart out, love like there’s no tomorrow, and tell the ones you love how you feel. Life is to short to live otherwise.

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#Compassion. #Peace #Empathy #Tolerance

“When you put your foot on the gas pedal and push it all the way to the floor and the RPM’s are all the way to the red line, what happens to the engine after a period of time?” ~My former psychology teacher

We are living in stressful times aren’t we? Mass murders, terrorist attacks and so on. Top that off with troubles in Syria, North Korea, Iran, Russia and our own political garbage. Watching or reading the news today is very frustrating and depressing. One can look at these times with despair and spew hateful word vomit or one can look at these times with hope.

In recent months and years, we’ve become very polarized on virtually every topic and we also seem to politicize every topic. Why? Do we like how we feel when we fight with someone else? Do we like fighting with everyone about everything all the time? I don’t know about you but I sure don’t enjoy fighting with anyone over anything at any time.

These days we have information coming at us from all directions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from tv, print, and of course social media. There are also all kinds of pundits, political leaders and other commentators who throw around hateful comments and unrealistic ideas about how these situations should or shouldn’t be handled. At some point, fingers start pointing then anyone and everyone is blamed for everything that happens.

When we hear/read about the stuff on the news or on social media sites we often leave nasty comments. This continues the cycle of blame and anger which fuels the hate in the hearts of men and women everywhere. I do not care to cite examples because that, too, will fuel the hatred cycle.

I remember a time when our leaders, actors, musicians and athletes were our role models. Some were even our heroes. Today, in our current political climate, this isn’t so much true.

We cannot allow this to keep happening.

There is something we keep forgetting when horrific and awful events happen. The outpouring of human compassion. Strangers helping other strangers in a time of need. Lines of racial division, political affiliation or views, creed, sexual/gender preference and socio-economic tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage. Strangers donate food, water, money, time and even blood to other total strangers. The fact all of this support and compassion goes unreported is disgraceful.

There is another reason that we cannot allow this rhetoric to keep happening.

There’s one thing you may not know about anger and fighting. Those things are poison to our bodies. I take that back, they’re more like a cancer, sometimes a very aggressive cancer. Think of the question I asked above. What would happen to the engine if you floored it for a length of time? It would most likely die a lot sooner than if the engine normal. Adrenaline in our bodies is somewhat like gasoline or oil in a car and stressors like anger and hate are like our foot on the gas pedal.

When we are stuck in that cycle of anger and hate, our bodies begin to break down. These emotions eat away at us bite by bite. We may begin to eat poorly. Instead of eating relatively healthy, we end comfort food. We start out with upset stomachs and headaches. At some point we may develop high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar. Maybe our immune system weakens and we get the flu more often than we used to. Eventually we will end up having a heart attack, a stroke or we may actually get cancer.

I’ve occasionally gone on a politically themed social media post and read the comments that others have left and became enraged at the insensitive, hateful, misinformed and dumb comments left by uninformed people. Just as I start to write an inflammatory comment, I realize I am just continuing the cycle. The same is true when I read or watch the news. To not contribute to the cycle, I’ve had to leave the more political social media posts or pages altogether or change the tv station.

So, how can we move passed all this “stuff”? There are a couple of lessons I’ve learned in life that can help us move away from the cycle of anger, blame and hate – but it’ll take some work.

One is to practice Spiritual Principles like hope, surrender, acceptance, honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith, tolerance, patience, humility, unconditional love, compassion, sharing and caring. If we do this we put principles before personalities which teaches us to treat everyone equally.

This leads us to follow The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want to be accepted or tolerated, then you need to accept and tolerate others. If you want respect and honesty, then be respectful and honest with others. Many of us learned to do this when we were young but somewhere along the way we forgot these lessons or we chose not to follow them.

Perhaps some day we’ll wake up and see how our actions and our words affect others and we can at least live a bit more peaceful. Then again, that is probably just a pipe dream.

Thought for the day: If we want to have a more peaceful coexistence with each other, we have to practice Spiritual Principles and the Golden Rule again.

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The Answer

“Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ Former Democratic President John F Kennedy

“You don’t believe this? You’re a ‘-ist’!” “You think that way? You’re a ‘-phobe!’”

Every day, often numerous times a day, we are calling each other derogatory names. If we don’t like the way a person thinks, we call them racist, misogynist, sexist and numerous other names. Some are not fit for this author to print. In 90% of the cases, though, we are far from correct in the names we hurl at each other. That person is the opposite of those names.

Yes, there’s no doubt we have serious issues in this America and the world. Yes, many things that need fixing are things that are fixable, but first we need to get out of our own way. We need to find ways to compromise without completely compromising our values, morals, and principles.

No one person is right on all things in life. We can begin today to reach across whatever aisle that divides us and learn about another person whose thoughts and opinions are different than ours. Instead of name calling, ask questions and each of you give a little to each other. If we each do this, we can begin to agree on ways to fix some of our issues that plague our society.

Having different viewpoints is natural. Where our diversity is our strength is when we can come together and use those differences to bring about positive changes.

Thought for the day: The next time someone disagrees with you, instead of putting your fingers in your ears saying, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you!” try listening to understand.

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“Imagine there’s no countries … Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion … And the world will be as one. Imagine no possessions … No need for greed or hunger … Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world…” ~ John Lennon

When man first walked the Earth, he worked and cooperated with his fellow man. Somewhere along the way, one person hurt another somehow and another person became afraid of another person somehow. From these events, negative feelings and actions like hate and discrimination were born. These feelings and thoughts continued thru the millennia and many wars have been fought because of this and other reasons.

When we were young, many of us learned either our Higher Power’s teachings or the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”. We were not created to hate, discriminate against or fight with one another. We we born to love and care for one another. Through the millennia each generation, religious faith, and ethnicity has dealt with hate and discrimination in different ways. Verbal and physical fighting, warfare, peaceful and violent protests, and so on.

For there to be peace in the world, it’s important for us to learn and practice Spiritual Principles like patience, respect, acceptance and tolerance for one another no matter what our race, religion, or socio-economic status is…everybody everywhere. It’s also important to embrace our similarities. It’s time for those who believe in love and living peacefully with one another to rise up and raise our voices louder than those of hatred. No fighting and shouting over one another. Let’s talk to and with each other.

Thought for the day: It is possible to end much of the anger, hatred and discrimination in this world. As Trent Shelton says, “It all starts with you”.

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“The only thing that divides is what you allow….” ~ Anonymous

Keep the above quote in mind as you read this.

The world as we know it is in a sad state these days. Whether it’s your own personal world or the entire world, everyone is turned upside down and inside out. Seems like everyone we meet these days is angry about something. So, what went wrong? I could list the reasons, but if I did, you’d be reading this all day.

I was scrolling thru my social media news feed, I stumbled upon this, “Let’s not focus on one particular situation, let’s focus on the world as we are one. The only thing that divides is what you allow. When did this all change? When has hatred become the only rule we have to follow?? Whatever happened to sending the much needed love to everyone?? When was the last time you smiled at a stranger or said good morning. My heart aches over the way the world has become and we as a society need to change this.” ~ Anonymous

These days, we are bombarded with information and misinformation 24/7. We find the majority of this stuff on the news, internet or social media. To often this information seems to be targeted to pit one person against another or at the very least make us angry. When then take that anger out into the world and infect others. We need to rise above all of this anger and hate. If we don’t…well I fear of where we’ll be 5, 10, 20 years from now. Practicing Spiritual Principles like acceptance, tolerance and patience can at least lower the temperature amongst us.

Thought for the day: Let’s start working together to make this a better world than when we found it.

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The Peace of the Wild

“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news” ~ John Muir

I am blessed to live in a beautiful part of this country. From the rolling hills to the brilliant fall foliage, this has been my home my entire live. As a child, my neighborhood consisted of woods and a lake which I made sure I frequented both often. Years later I found myself living in the city for obvious reasons. If I wanted to go for a stroll in nature I had to go for a drive.

For many people who live in the city or work a lot, this isn’t so easy. I’ve often thought of how those of you who can’t get out to enjoy nature could do that. It finally came to me while I was at work one night.

I work for a lady who lives on the 6th floor of an apartment complex which is on the north side. When I need to take a short break I step out on the balcony. Right below is a major street thru the city and some beautifully architected buildings. If I lift my eyes up I can see the country beyond the city limits. Since my shift is in the late afternoon and early evening, I get to see the sun set below the horizon to the west – and I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets. Oftentimes I can block out the sounds of the city and enjoy the peaceful view and it renews my spirit.

Thought for the day: Being in nature is the medicine our soul needs to recharge even if it’s looking out a window in the city.

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